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Lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.), the King of Fruits, with Both Traditional and Modern Pharmacological Health Benefits


Pharmacognosy Communications,2021,11,1,22-25.
Published:January 2021
Type:Review Article

Lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.), the King of Fruits, with Both Traditional and Modern Pharmacological Health Benefits

Wenli Sun1,2, Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian1,2, Hong Shen3, Qi Cheng1,2,*

1Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, CHINA.

2Nitrogen Fixation Laboratory, Qi Institute, Building Chuangye Road, Jiaxing, Zhejiang, CHINA.

3NMPA Key Laboratory for Testing and Risk Warning of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Biological Inspection Department, Zhejiang Institute for Food and Drug Control, Hangzhou, CHINA.


Introduction: One of the most important tropical and subtropical fruit is lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn). It has been widely cultivated in the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian and Sichuan. Methods: A literature search was conducted in Medline, Scoupus, PubMed and Google scholar databases. The keywords were lychee, traditional Chinese medicine, modern pharmaceutical science, super fruit and health benefits. Results: The major chemical constituents of lychee are flavonoids, sterols, triterpenes, phenolic and other bioactive compounds. The most important health benefits of lychee is for skin to prevent signs of aging, help remove blemishes and reduce sunburns. It also has hair benefits by promoting hair growth and providing a distinct shine. Other important health benefits include anticancer effects, promoting cardiovascular health, improving digestion, prevention of cataracts, anti-influenza activity, aiding in weight loss, regulating blood circulation, preventing blood vessel rupture, antiinflammatory effects, protection from herpes virus infection, strengthening immunity, regulating blood pressure, strengthening bones, preventing anemia and increasing the libido. However, lychee can disturb hormonal balance and may cause allergic reactions in some people. Furthermore, because of high sugar content, it may have negative impacts on people who suffer diabetes. Conclusion: The pharmacological and phytochemical characteristics of lychee demonstrate that it is one of the most important super-fruits and medicinal Chinese plants.

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